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N.D. Miss.

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True the Vote v. Hosemann (Michael P. Mills, N.D. Miss. 3:14-cv-144) and True the Vote v. Hosemann (Henry T. Wingate and Nancy F. Atlas, S.D. Miss. 3:14-cv-532)
A federal complaint sought voter information to investigate the possibility of voting in a runoff senatorial primary election for one party after voting in another party’s earlier primary election. The judge who was assigned the case determined that it should have been brought in the other district, which includes the capital. A second suit there was transferred to a district in another state within the circuit because of the federal bench’s close ties with the incumbent senator, a candidate in the runoff primary election. The transferee judge dismissed claims under the National Voter Registration Act for failure to comply with the Act’s notice requirements. By the time of decision, the defendants had disclosed to the plaintiffs all of the information required by the Act anyway.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: National Voter Registration Act; primary election; recusal; case assignment; attorney fees; matters for state courts.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Young v. West Point Municipal Election Commission (Michael P. Mills, N.D. Miss. 1:13-cv-99)
Five voters, including an unsuccessful incumbent in a primary election, filed a federal complaint alleging that a municipal election commission conducted a sham primary election, because the municipal party executive committee was without members and therefore could not properly convey to the election commission the authority to conduct the election. The district judge determined that the plaintiffs had not made a showing sufficient to enjoin the next day’s runoff election.
Topics: Enjoining elections; primary election; party procedures; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Marascalco v. Grenada (Rhesa Barksdale, Neal B. Biggers, Jr., and Glen Davidson, N.D. Miss. 3:00-cv-61)
Ten days before a municipal election, residents of recently annexed territory filed a federal complaint seeking to halt the election in which they would not be able to vote because the Justice Department denied preclearance to the annexation. A three-judge district court heard the case six days later and denied immediate relief. The court doubted its jurisdiction over the matter and expressed concern about the filing of the complaint nearly two months after the denial of preclearance.
Subject: District lines. Topics: Enjoining elections; equal protection; three-judge court; section 5 preclearance; laches.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Tucker v. Hosemann (W. Allen Pepper, Jr., N.D. Miss. 2:10-cv-178)
A federal complaint filed 13 days before the 2010 general election alleged that election practices discriminated against black voters. According to the presiding judge, “Though it was unclear from their pleadings the exact nature of the relief sought by the plaintiffs, the court was able to pinpoint the issue during the TRO hearing *held six days after the complaint was filed+.” The judge concluded that the practice by offices of Mississippi’s secretary of state and attorney general of sending observers to federal and state elections held in Mississippi was not a new practice requiring preclearance pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Topic: Section 5 preclearance.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Cunningham v. Leigh (W. Allen Pepper, Jr., N.D. Miss. 1:10-cv-49)
A federal complaint, which was filed four days before a meeting of voters to select trustees for a school district, sought an injunction requiring absentee ballots for the meeting. After a telephonic hearing two days after the complaint was filed, the district judge determined that voters do not have a fundamental right to absentee ballots, the plaintiffs had shown no discriminatory intent, and the plaintiffs’ evidence of discriminatory impact was weak, so the judge denied immediate relief.
Topic: Absentee ballots.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

In Print: Available for Distribution

At the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, the Federal Judicial Center conducted a study of the use of courtrooms in the U.S. district courts. The committee requested the study in response to a November 2005 congressional subcommittee request for an empirical study of the use of federal courtrooms. The study was conducted between early 2006 and spring 2008, with data collected in twenty-six district courts during the period January 15 - July 15, 2007. For a subsequent report on bankruptcy courtroom use, see The Use of Courtrooms in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts (2010).

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